11% of Russians want to immigrateThe All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM) estimated how many Russians want to immigrate. It turned out that the number of people who dream of immigration hasn’t changed much since the last year.

What motivates Russians leave or stay

While some citizens of the Russian Federation want to move abroad, others have no such aspirations.

For the past two years, the number of people who left the country increased, according to statistics.

  • 21% of respondents think that the share of such people became lower.
  • 33% believe their number remained the same.
  • 23% note that the number of people leaving the country has increased.
  • 20% of respondents admit they have relatives or friends who moved abroad.

The share of people who want to immigrate has been ranging from 11 to 13% during the last 5 years, Wciom.ru reports.

The researchers note the majority of those who dream of immigration have no idea how and when they can realize their desire.

  • 51% have never thought about it.
  • 18% do not know when they will move.
  • 63% haven’t done anything to start the immigration process.

86% of people do not want to leave Russia. 75% of residents think their children and grandchildren will have a better life in Russia.

Those who would prefer to leave name the following reasons for their decision:

  • Opportunity to improve standards of life (50%)
  • Social stability
  • Better climate

However, a recent survey by Levada Centre puts the share of Russian citizens who want to immigrate at 19%. And every fourth resident thought about immigration, surveys show.

Top 5 preferred countries for immigration

  • Germany (12%)
  • USA (7%)
  • France (5%)
  • Great Britain (4%)
  • Canada (3%)
What makes Russians leave or stay

As statistics show, the share of people willing to move abroad hasn’t changed significantly for the last 5 years.


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If the top 5 preferred countries only add up to 30% and no.5 is only 3%, that’s a hell of a lot of 1 percenters making up the rest. Even if a whole range of EU countries got a percent or two each, are we really to be leave they were a whole lot of Russians wanting to live in Ecuador, Vietnam, Morocco, Mauritius, Fiji and many others of similar ilk but only 7% put US as first choice? Something seems innately dodgy about these numbers (I’m not American by the way).

David, There is a link to raw research data, go ahead, check and satisfy your sceptic 🙂 You are probably not aware there are 218 countries in the world. And while you may not think much about Vietnam, Egypt, Thailand, or India (Goa), there are plenty of Russians migrating there as expats–it’s easy for them to live well on income from renting out their real estate in Moscow. We publish lots of stories from FSU expats on the Russian blog. Contrary to a popular belief (of westerners), not all people want to live in a country where they have to… Read more »

That was my thoughts exactly when I first read it. But I read the link which has a list of almost all the countries, there are many of them. Australia is 6th place with 2%. And another important factor which skews the results – 35% couldn’t answer which country they thought about. So actually, those 31% in the top 5 account for almost half of the respondants that actually named a desired country. Interesting study, I find it very strange that Germany would be so popular.


Germany is popular because it’s very close geographically. Also apparently it’s not hard to migrate to. There are also a lot of Russians already and it makes integration easier, plus many people have friends or family there who can assist during initial stages.

Ryan Voll

Does this mean being a Canadian I have a smaller chance at finding a woman on her, since only 3 percent willing to come to my country?

Ryan, The majority of women on our dating site seek the right partner, not a country. If they find the right man, they will move to any country for him. If the women wanted to immigrate to a certain country, they would check the available visas for migration and simply follow the process. But that’s not what they seek: They want to find love and a partner for life. Don’t think that your country is going to do the job 🙂 you actually have to *court* a woman for her to fall in love with you. That’s the point many… Read more »
I guess those who would prefer to leave the country are following their reasons for their decision and that’s not only opportunity to improve standards of life, social stability and better climate. There are new and wonderful, as I know, culture, there’re many opportunities for ordinary people and for people with disabilities. Also people want to immigrate because routine and everyday dullness hurts them in Russia, so they go abroad to discover something new for yourself, to get inspiration or new experience, though… Yet they don’t want to live and die in place where they born, so I can understand… Read more »

I have a pen-friend who moved to Germany from Rostov. He said that there are a lot of Russians there! His family was upset that he left his country, but he doesn’t regret immigrating. As he said to me, “better to be free in this country than to be enslaved in your homeland”. I guess many people haven’t immigrated yet only because of their families.


I’d like to add Scandinavia to this list. So many Russians migrate there, because the standards of life are so high in these countries! I studied in Norway and I know that there are towns full of Russians, for example Kirkines, Alta and other northern cities. And I know many Russians who want to migrate there and who would like to migrate there if they were not under certain circumstances.


Ring VCIOM and ask them to put you on the list? 🙂


Immigration will not solve all the problems. Moving to another country, you get even more problems. It is not so easy to have a good life abroad if you don’t know the language of this country, its laws, culture. Life abroad is not as easy as it seems.